BY SALONEE MISTRY
An Avondale Heights father who killed his wife, dumped her body in the bush and then spun a web of lies about her disappearance for years, has today been sentenced to jail.
Borce Ristevski, 55, was sentenced to nine years imprisonment, six years without parole, for the manslaughter of his wife Karen, 47.
Having already served 491 days behind bars, Ristevski could be free in four and a half years.
For more than two years the father of two told police, his family, and the public his wife had mysteriously disappeared after leaving home "to cool off" following an argument about money.
He unexpectedly pleaded guilty to manslaughter in March, a day before a jury was to be empanelled for his murder trial.
He has not revealed how he killed his wife of 27 years at the family home in June 2016.
A bushwalker found Ms Ristevski's badly decomposed body in bushland at the base of Mount Macedon in February 2017.
Justice Christopher Beale said his sentence was based on the fact Ristevski has no prior criminal record, unchallenged character references and good prospects of rehabilitation.
“The fact that you are 55 years of age and have no criminal antecedence, supports and reinforces what your character referees have said about you,” Justice Beale said.
“Because I find your prospects of rehabilitation are good, I do not place much weight on specific deterrents, or the need to protect the community from you.
"Though specific deterrents have some part to play given the seriousness of your offence, your post offence conduct and your continuing secrecy.”
Part of a character reference written by the couple's only child, Sarah Ristevski, was read during the sentencing. In it she referred to her father as “loving, caring, sympathetic, protective and charismatic”.
Karen’s brother, Stephen Williams, did not provide a glowing review of his brother-in-law, telling reporters outside court he was disappointed by the sentence for the remorseless killer.
“Nothing was going to bring Karen back, but today was about justice, and we didn't get justice today at all," Mr Williams said.
"As a society at some stage we will, in regards to domestic violence make a stand, it just wasn't today."
In his sentencing remarks Justice Beale said, unlike other domestic violence cases that have a history of violence, this was just one incident and as such an atypical case.